Zucchini Pasta in Creamy Italian Sauce – and Gizmo Review

Gizmo with bit of zucchini left over. Bloody finger not shown.

I bought this thigamijig a few weeks ago while picking up pasta for the kids. I don’t remember what the darn thing is called as someone tossed the blister pack it came in, but it allows you to take a zucchini, twist it in this contraption and make zucchini noodles. This is one of those types of things you see advertised on infomercials where, if you act now, they send you Ginsu knives or something else you really don’t need but sounds cool.

It looked like a piece of crap. I bought it anyway.

The ‘why’ seems reasonable: I already have a mandoline, a kitchen device which allows you to create zucchini noodles, but mandolines is large, come in a box with multiple pieces, feels like work, and has caused blood loss as mandolines are designed so that the user slides their fingers towards razor-sharp knife surfaces.

This thing is small and can be tossed in a drawer. It just seemed like so much less of a commitment to use it.

Today I finally opened the package and tried it with the following impromptu recipe:

  • 1 medium zucchini, twisted into the gizmo to make noodley strips.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 package of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch or two of oregano

This took all of 5 minutes to make:

In a frying pan, I melted butter until it was close to burning, then turned down the heat. Next, I twisted the zucchini into noodles over the pan. Then I added the cream cheese and the pasta sauce and smushed the cream cheese until it melted. Next, I added parmesan cheese, oregano, and cayenne pepper. A few minutes of cooking – and more blood spilled by tempting fate and twisting the zucchini too far – and it was complete.

More sauce than noodles, the small amount of pasta sauce with the cream cheese made it look like a vodka sauce.

I went to eat it and my daughter wanted a taste. She loved it – so much to the point that I gave it to her and she finished it herself. She told me that it wasn’t good – it was excellent. I made a second batch – double the amount this time. While the twisting of the zucchini in the machine is simple, my hand started to get tired after the third zucchini, so while good for whipping up a quick dish for one, the mandoline still has its usefulness for larger volumes (and potential for greater blood loss).

My older daughter had some of the next batch, and while not effusive in her praise, did finish the bowl that she took.

the recipe is a keeper – and the gizmo isn’t such a piece of crap – though let’s see how long it lasts before it breaks.

Recipe – Baked Pork Belly

Busy as all get-out lately, but I thought I’d do a drive-by blog post on this roasted pork belly recipe I tried. I found it on Jamie Oliver’s website, but lost the link, didn’t have the same ingredients, and didn’t throw it on the BBQ at the end because I ran out of propane for the grill, so It’s not Jamie’s recipe, really, nor can I really call it ‘roasted’, but rather ‘baked’. Still a crowd-pleaser, though.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds pork belly
  • 3 tsp rock salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

I always pick the fattiest pork belly I can find. (I get weird looks when I ask for that.)

Grind spices together w/ mortar and pestil. Rub dry pork belly on all sides with as much rub as you can make stick, then discard remainder of rub. Put pork belly in small baking dish, drizzle the top with some olive oil and bake for 2 hours at 350 degrees covered in foil. Take out, slice 1/3 inch-thick slices and put back in juice in baking dish.

This turned out really good and was the first pork belly that my older daughter said she actually liked.

Now I have to try this with the last step of throwing the cooked pork belly on the grill to crisp the outside like Jamie recommended.

I didn’t calculate the nutrients but I can guarantee you: eat this stuff as part of a low carb induction and you will get in to ketosis pretty darn quick – and boy, is that pork belly fat creamy and delicious.